Elena is writing Bonnie an email because even though months have passed since they last saw each other, she still doesn’t know that Bonnie’s dead. She voices over the contents of her email as we see some of the gang’s end-of-summer activities. Elena spent the whole break in bed with Damon. Caroline spent it planning what her dorm room will look like and is now packing half of Fort Forbes to move. Tyler has been helping a wolf pack in Tennessee, so Caroline took care of all his college-admission stuff. Matt and Rebekah have gone all over Europe, and Elena isn’t sure she wants to know everything they’ve done there. My guess is she doesn’t want to know that they had a threesome with a woman named Nadia.
Jeremy responds to the email with Bonnie’s input, since she can’t type. He’s been keeping her secret about being dead. He’s also been trying to navigate being alive again, as well as living at Vamp Villa with Elena and Damon, who can’t keep their hands off each other. Bonnie loves that Katherine is human now and has lost everything she spent 500 years stealing and manipulating her way into getting. Bonnie/Jeremy finishes the email by asking if Elena has heard from Stefan.
In Damon’s bathtub, Elena tells Damon that she has a weird feeling that something bad is about to happen. He says it is – she’s leaving tomorrow for college. She asks him to be a normal, supportive boyfriend while she tries to have a normal college experience. She starts to call Stefan but decides against it. She sinks under the water, the same place Stefan is still stuck months after Silas locked him in the safe.
Since the gang told everyone Jeremy was dead back in “Stand by Me,” his return to his normal life requires an explanation of where he’s been. He tells someone that his life spiraled after his parents and Jenna died, and he started acting out, drinking, and using drugs. He wanted attention, so he burned the house down and faked his own death. He’s trying out this story on Elena, who thinks he should say the fire was an accident so he doesn’t get in trouble (especially since he wasn’t the one who lit it). Jeremy tries to argue that he shouldn’t go back to school at all, as if Elena’s going to let him just drop out.
Caroline arrives outside Vamp Villa to pick Elena up for their trip to college. Elena doesn’t want to leave yet, but Damon is now very supportive of her having a full college experience. (She and Caroline are going to Whitmore.) He’ll be in charge of Jeremy, which I’m sure is an arrangement they’re both thrilled about. Elena says goodbye to her brother, then asks Damon how he thinks things will go once they shift to a long-distance relationship. Well, it’s not like he has a job or anything requiring him to be in Mystic Falls on a regular schedule. He can go visit whenever he wants.
As Elena and Caroline lug their things across Whitmore’s quad to their new dorm, Elena says she has a weird feeling related to Stefan. She’s thinking about calling him. Caroline doesn’t want her to rub in how happy she is with Damon. She should wait until Stefan calls her. Her bad feelings are just guilt and regret for swapping Stefan for Damon. Elena denies that, since the last time she and Stefan spoke, they were in a good place. Caroline notes that she then spent the summer having sex with Damon. Liz, who’s accompanying the two of them, pops up and tells Caroline to keep that stuff private. Elena and Caroline stop for a moment to celebrate the fact that they made it to college. Bonnie appears next to them, unseen, and says they’re all there together.
Liz helps deliver everything to Elena and Caroline’s new home, the largest dorm room I have ever seen in my life (which is one of the reasons I call it the Super Suite). She tries to hold back tears as she hugs Caroline goodbye, then Elena. She tells Elena this is where Grayson decided to become a doctor, and he would be proud to see her there. Liz has a tough time leaving her daughter and surrogate daughter behind, but they’re not nearly as emotional about it. They grab some blood so they can toast to the next chapter of their lives and their chance to be “functional vampires.” But before they can drink, they meet their surprise third roommate, Megan.
At Mystic Falls High School, Jeremy hides out in a classroom so he can talk to Bonnie about Caroline’s latest email. He wants her to stop delaying the inevitable and just tell Rudy and her friends that she’s dead. She doesn’t think her father misses her, and she wants her friends to keep being happy. Bonnie notes that she and Jeremy are lucky because most best friends don’t get to keep talking after one of them dies. He replies that most best friends can touch each other.
As Megan makes herself at home in the Super Suite, unaware that her roommates were expecting Bonnie to live with them instead, Elena talks to Damon on the phone about the new arrangement. He suggests that they compel Megan to leave (which was also Caroline’s idea). Elena notes that coming to college was supposed to be about experiencing new things, not recreating her life in Mystic Falls. Damon makes an “old college try” joke. Elena’s optimistic that their plans will actually work out, with her at Whitmore and him looking after Jeremy in Mystic Falls. Damon agrees, then gets off the phone quickly because Katherine has just arrived at Vamp Villa.
Matt and Rebekah are back in Mystic Falls, and he’s jumped right back into his job at the Grill, serving refreshments at a town-wide end-of-summer party. He takes a break to make out with his summer fling, even though she’s supposed to be leaving town (and wasn’t he the one who said whatever happened on the trip stayed on the trip?). She wants him to come with her, but he has to work. Rebekah suggests that he use some of his pay to replace a pair of earrings Nadia stole from her in Prague. Matt’s not concerned about her jewelry since Nadia also took his Gilbert ring. Rebekah tells him not to call, write, or miss her. I’m pretty sure he never mentions her again, so…no problem there.
As Rebekah leaves, Silas arrives and chats with Liz, who thinks he’s Stefan. He cuts her wrist and drips her blood into a cup. Though Silas is a witch, his mind-control powers allow him to basically compel people the way vampires can, so he keeps her quiet. Liz doesn’t know who he is until he says they met before, when he pretended to be Caroline and then knocked Liz out. He reveals that he’s in his true form, and that Stefan is his doppelganger.
Thanks to his ability to read thoughts, Silas gets that Liz is confused. He clarifies that even though he’s immortal and needs blood to function, he’s not a vampire. Don’t ever call him a vampire. Once he’s gotten enough blood out of her for a drink, he cleans up her wound and compels her to believe he’s Stefan. Then he moves on, since he’s not going to get the information he’s looking for out of her.
At Whitmore, Elena recaps her personal life for Megan, at least in terms of her boyfriends. Megan agrees with Caroline that she shouldn’t call Stefan. Caroline says her boyfriend is joining them in time for the first day of classes, though Elena notes that he may not have done everything he needs to do to actually be in college, like register for classes and secure a dorm room.
“Speaking of minding one’s own business,” Caroline begins, she has some rules for communal living. She needs her privacy, she doesn’t share food, and Megan shouldn’t follow her if she suddenly leaves the room. Megan is pretty laid back and agrees to everything. A guy named Jesse approaches the roommates and gives them a flier advertising a party that night at Whitmore House. Elena says they’ll be there. Jesse is definitely looking forward to spending time with Caroline.
Elena calls Jeremy, but before he can answer, a guy bumps into him and makes him drop his stuff. He comments that Jeremy’s back from the dead, then knocks Jeremy’s phone out of his hand. Jeremy tries to hold his temper, but when another guy joins the first to bug him, Jeremy starts throwing punches.
At Vamp Villa, Katherine helps herself to Damon’s alcohol stash, which has more of an effect on her now that she’s human. He can tell she’s miserable. She reminds him that she’s a survivor, but he knows she hates not being as polished and in control as she used to be. He guesses she wants him to turn her back into a vampire, so he offers her his blood. But since no one knows what might happen to someone who takes the cure and then gets turned, Katherine doesn’t want to risk dying for good. She thinks deep down, there’s a part of Damon that doesn’t want her to die.
As he asks why she’s there, his phone rings. She answers it and talks to Jeremy’s principal, pretending to be Elena. Jeremy was expelled and has taken off, so Damon has to go look for him. He wants Katherine gone by the time he gets back. She tells him someone’s chasing her, and more will come when word gets out that she’s human and can’t protect herself. Running is hard enough in a human body, and even harder when she tries to do it in heels. She has blisters! She begs Damon to help her.
In the safe, Stefan continues what he’s been doing all summer: drowning, reviving, and drowning again. He hallucinates Damon urging him to turn off his humanity so he doesn’t have to suffer or be afraid anymore. But Stefan doesn’t want to be his old Ripper self again if he ever winds up getting out of the safe. That wouldn’t be better than what he’s already going through.
While Megan’s taking a shower, Caroline complains to Elena about Megan’s stuff, which she has no problem going through because her insistence on privacy only goes one way. She’s also annoyed that Elena’s okay with them having a third roommate who’s not Bonnie. Elena reminds her that they’re trying to be functional, which means making friends. Caroline makes a good point that they’ll have a hard time hiding their vampirism from Megan, but really, she’s just looking for any excuse to complain. She steals some of Megan’s protein water, whatever that is, and learns the hard way that it contains vervain.
Megan comes out to check on her but doesn’t catch on to what happened. Caroline panics, thinking Megan knows that she and Elena are vampires. She could be a hunter and could stake them in the shower or steal their daylight rings while they’re asleep. Elena calms her and points out that if Megan were a hunter, she probably would have killed them already. Caroline suggests waiting until the vervain is out of Megan’s system and then compelling her to forget about them. Elena refuses – if they want to be normal, they need to act normal. They should start by going to the party.
That night, Elena and Caroline go to Whitmore House together and encounter Jesse again. Elena’s friendly with him but Caroline isn’t, because apparently dating Tyler means she can’t be nice to other guys. Elena reminds her that Tyler hasn’t called or shown much interest in joining them at Whitmore. Caroline asks if Elena’s told Damon that she’s been thinking about Stefan. (That’s a no.) Elena and Caroline try to enter the building, but someone must own it because they can’t go in. Megan meets up with them and they lie that they’re waiting for someone. Megan goes in alone, and Caroline repeats to Elena that she knows about them, even though Megan has given zero indications that that’s true.
Damon finds Jeremy at the Grill and blasts him for getting in a fight at school. Jeremy doesn’t think Damon should be lecturing him on violence, since Damon killed him once. “Yes, in the privacy of your own home, away from prying eyes!” Damon says. He compelled the principal to change Jeremy’s expulsion to a three-day suspension, and they’re not going to tell Elena what happened. Just then, Silas arrives and easily fools Damon into thinking he’s Stefan.
Elena leaves Megan a message inviting her to call back for an explanation about why she and Caroline didn’t go in for the party. Caroline wants to grab Megan when she leaves, but Elena says they can just say Caroline got sick. She can’t bring herself to believe that out of thousands of other freshmen, they were randomly housed with someone who knows about vampires. Caroline says it might not have been random.
Megan calls Elena and begs for help – someone’s chasing her. Elena and Caroline try to see what’s happening through the windows of the house. Caroline tells Megan to find a way to get outside so they can help her. Instead, Megan’s body comes flying out of the house. Elena takes a closer look and says a vampire killed her.
Damon and Silas have a drink at the Grill and start to catch up. Silas reads Damon’s mind and learns that Katherine is at Vamp Villa. He jokes that he knows because he can read Damon’s mind. Then he says she called him first, because Katherine always puts Stefan before Damon. Jeremy joins them, and when Silas pats him on the shoulder, Jeremy senses that something’s wrong. After Silas walks away, Jeremy tells Damon that he felt a chill where his tattoo used to be. He felt the same thing when Silas grabbed him as he was killing Jeremy.
Damon reminds Jeremy that Silas is gone, thanks to Bonnie, but Bonnie tells Jeremy that the spell that turned Silas to stone must have been broken when she died. Jeremy tells Damon he’s sure “Stefan” is really Silas. Damon doesn’t think Silas would be able to fool a whole room full of people into thinking he looks like Stefan. Jeremy asks what he wanted.
Silas goes to Vamp Villa, where Katherine is pampering herself in Damon’s bathtub. She invites him to join her, and when he seems interested, she thinks he’s flirting. Really, he’s just trying to get close to her so he can strangle her. She grabs a straight razor (because what woman doesn’t shave her legs with a straight razor?) and slashes his cheek, giving herself a chance to run away. Damon and Jeremy arrive before Silas can catch up to her, and Damon sends her off with Jeremy, ordering Jeremy not to tell him where they’re going. Silas orders Damon to let him go after Katherine. Damon wants him to drop his Stefan disguise first. Silas smirks because he knows something Damon doesn’t.
Back at Whitmore, Elena and Caroline try to figure out what’s going on as Megan’s body is taken away. They don’t know how much Megan knew or who she might have shared information with, so Caroline wants to leave before someone busts them. Elena remembers that she left Megan a voicemail, but Caroline stole Megan’s phone before the EMTs arrived. The head of campus security, Dianne Freeman, tells Elena and Caroline that Megan was struggling with depression. She left a note before taking her own life. Dianne asks if they’ve seen Megan’s cell phone, and they lie that they haven’t.
Silas has filled Damon in on who he is in relation to Stefan, and Damon’s not happy about it: “If I have to hear the word ‘doppelganger’ one more time, I think I’m gonna actually have to learn how to spell it.” He notes that Silas’ plan didn’t work, since the cure is gone. He asks what Silas wants with Katherine, but Silas wants that to be a surprise. He asks if Damon really thinks Stefan would leave town for months without getting in touch at all after his brother started hooking up with the love of his life. Damon asks where Stefan is, and Silas replies that he’s suffering the way Silas suffered. Silas will tell Damon where he is if Damon calls Jeremy and gets him to bring Katherine back.
Damon obeys, but Katherine objects when Jeremy turns the car around. She thinks Silas must have gotten in Damon’s head because Damon wouldn’t just hand her over to him. Jeremy keeps driving, so Katherine makes him crash the car. Back at Vamp Villa, Silas reads Damon’s thoughts and mocks him for how messy they are. He knows Damon’s worried because Jeremy and Katherine haven’t returned yet.
The party’s still going on in the town square. Matt asks Rudy when Bonnie’s coming back, but Rudy doesn’t know because he never talks to his only child. Matt spots Nadia and follows her to the alley behind the Grill. She won’t tell him how she tracked him down, but she’ll tell him why: She shouldn’t have taken his Gilbert ring, and she wants to return it. As she puts it back on him, someone runs up behind him and holds his head still. He says something in a foreign language that causes Matt’s eyes to briefly turn black and makes him collapse.
Caroline deletes Elena’s voicemail to Megan as they head back to the Super Suite. Megan’s tablet is gone, along with the suicide note she allegedly wrote. Elena looks through her phone and finds a photo of Megan with Grayson.
The car crash has left Jeremy in bad shape, but Katherine has no interest in helping him when she can just run away on her own. Bonnie begs Jeremy to hold on as Damon finds him and gives him his blood. He threatens to kill Jeremy himself if Jeremy doesn’t wake up. He’s so relieved that Jeremy’s okay that he doesn’t care that Katherine escaped.
Caroline listens to a message from Tyler saying he’s going to defer school for a while. He wants to stay with the pack he’s helping. She tries to go to sleep but she can’t help crying. Elena hears her and says she’s sorry. Both of them are happy the other is there.
Stefan hallucinates Damon encouraging him again to flip his humanity switch. He doesn’t deserve to suffer. He did the right thing by walking away and letting Damon and Elena be happy; it’s not fair for him to get this in return. As Stefan’s about to give in, he imagines Elena telling him to hold on to his humanity, since it makes him what he is. He needs to keep it for her.
Damon calls Elena and lies that he took so long to get back to her because of car trouble. He thinks she wants to come home, but she wants to stay at Whitmore and find out Megan’s connection to Grayson. Damon says that’ll give him more time to bond with Jeremy. After they hang up, Jeremy notes that Damon barely told Elena anything about their day. Damon just doesn’t want her to ditch her new life and run home to help.
Bonnie drops in on the end-of-summer party, where Rudy tells the crowd about how she used to eat too much cotton candy there every year when she was younger. Silas goes up on stage and uses his mind-control powers to make Rudy let him address the crowd. Silas has spent the summer binging on blood, and it’s given him the power to influence more than one person at a time. He wants to test out his new abilities.
First he tells everyone to be quiet, which works. Then he makes them all stand completely still. He slits Rudy’s throat and drops him to the ground. Bonnie’s the only one who can react, but no one can see or hear her, and there’s nothing she can do for her father. Silas tells the crowd that he needs them to find someone for him – someone who looks exactly like Elena.
Etc.: I don’t like season 5. The only thing that gets me through it is knowing my reward is season 6, which I love.
Nadia is a waste of a character. Sorry not sorry.
I love how much fun Paul Wesley is obviously having playing Silas.
Elena says Whitmore is a few hours away. I choose to believe that she misspoke and meant miles instead of hours. That’s the only way to explain how often everyone drives back and forth from there over the next two seasons.
God bless Elena for living with Caroline because I wouldn’t be able to do it.
The Super Suite is bigger than my entire apartment and has its own bathroom. That bathroom may also be bigger than mine.
It’s strange enough that the rest of the gang was able to graduate high school despite never going to class, but how did Tyler pull it off when he was out of town for months at a time?
I get Caroline stealing Megan’s phone in case she could get information from it, but why erase Elena’s message? There was nothing incriminating in it. There couldn’t be anything incriminating in it because Caroline and Elena didn’t do anything wrong. All they did was not go into a building.